The Meltwater High Potential Program (nicknamed “HiPo”) is a series of management and talent development programs created by Jorn and Meltwater’s Executive Directors. Designed to provide further training for Meltwater’s most promising and successful managers, candidates are selected for the program based on their team’s or office’s successful sales and (as the title suggests) have displayed a high level of potential for future growth and development within the organization.
The program rewards employees by giving them more exposure to the company’s executive management team, in addition to external training modules with partner universities. Split into six modules over two years, the first module was held in Accra, Ghana at Meltwater’s foundation, MEST. The latest, and second, installment was in San Francisco, which is home to Meltwater headquarters:
We touched down in San Francisco on a sunny Wednesday afternoon excited to attend our second installment of the Meltwater High Potential program. If the experience in Accra was anything to go by, this was going to be a challenging and rewarding two days.
After arriving in down town San Francisco we caught up with the rest of the HiPo team in the lobby before heading out to dinner. It was nice to talk about experiences and changes over the past nine months since Ghana. Over dinner we were also introduced to the new HiPo class of 2013 – and we were impressed! We could tell it was going to be a fun few days.
The two-day program kicked off the following morning. We had a tight daylong program from 8am to 8pm with five different external lecturers discussing everything from “How to train sales consultants to perform in the 99th percentile” to “Common Traits of Successful Companies”.
To our excitement, three out of the five lecturers were from the Meltwater Group Advisory Board – a panel of extremely successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who have a diverse amount of experience and talent. Capitalising on the experience of the panel, we later had the opportunity to pick their brains in a Q&A Panel Debate moderated by Jorn. This then lead to a discussion on the future expansion of the Meltwater Group and how Meltwater can leverage opportunities due to its unique market position – (this was a personal highlight of the San Fran HiPo module!)We also spoke about the structure of different sales organizations, recruitment issues and other relevant topics.
The Friday started off with a boom with an inspiring presentation from Salim Ismail from Singularity University. The topic was “Major Technological Breakthroughs.” He discussed the history of technological breakthroughs, their speed and the conditions that lead to their innovation. We then used these ideas to predicted the future of the tech industry, looking at where the next successful companies would come from, as well as our thoughts on the future of current giants like Google and Facebook (with some surprising predictions).
The rest of the day we focused on workshops and individual development topics with the Executive Directors. At the center of these discussions was the personal development of each of the HiPos, which included some very honest conversations about our strengths, weaknesses and how we can improve as managers through collaboration.
In the end, the High Potential program is also very much about getting to know, learn from and develop relationships with fellow HiPos. Our first two modules have most certainly delivered on this, and we are excited about the remaining four!